Members of the public are cordially invited to join friends and supporters of the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine as it celebrates its 21st annual Harvest Supper and attendant activities that promise a fun, enlightening, educational and enjoyable afternoon and evening.
PJC program coordinator Ilze Petersons reports the event begins with a community teach-in about the war in Afghanistan from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park St. in Bangor.
The keynote speaker at the teach-in will be Jo Comerford, executive director of the National Priorities Project which, Ilze explained, “analyzes data about federal spending and its impact on local communities.”
“We are delighted she is able to come,” Ilze said of Comerford, who has family in the area.
Her presentation will be followed by “talking circles” where attendees can discuss “what people can do to help change priorities,” Ilze added.
For the teach-in, it would be appreciated if attendees let PJC know they are coming so plans can be made for seating. Do so by calling PJC at 942-9343 and leaving a message, if necessary, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To recognize the ninth anniversary of the bombing of Afghanistan, a Walk for Peace, to Cascade Park, follows the teach-in.
“For many years, we’ve had what we call Chains of Concern at Cascade Park, and this is a commemoration of that,” Ilze said.
The center’s 21st annual vegetarian potluck Harvest Supper begins at 6 p.m. at the Park Street church.
Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and, since the dinner also serves as a benefit for the Peace & Justice Center, suggested donations are $10 for individuals, $15 for families.
However, Ilze emphasized that PJC hopes everyone who wants to attend will do so.
“If you can’t afford the donation, please just come and celebrate with us,” she said.
After dinner, PJC will present its annual Hands of Peace award to peace activist Dud Hendrick of Deer Isle, and its Youth Hands of Peace Award to Will Whitham, a Bangor High School graduate now attending Harvard University.
Well-known artist, fellow peace activist and friend Robert Shetterly of Brooklin will make the presentation to Hendrick, who is president of Maine Veterans for Peace Chapter 001.
According to information provided by PJC, Hendrick is a 1963 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who served four years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, one of them in Vietnam.
He returned to Vietnam in 1998 with members of World TEAM Sports, men and women who lost limbs or acquired other disabilities during the war in Vietnam.
TEAM stands for “The Exceptional Athlete Matters.”
An adjunct professor in the Peace Studies Program at the University of Maine in Orono, Hendrick is a founding member of Service Academy Graduates Against the War and has engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to protest the war in Iraq.
According to Hendrick, his most current peace work is “first, voicing opposition to the more than 800 U.S. foreign military bases in more than 130 countries and, second, standing with the victims of all that displacement and destruction.”
The Youth Hands of Peace Award will honor Whitham who, Ilze told me, “is coming home this weekend” to receive the award.
“Will was an amazing role model for young people, working with Veterans for Peace to get alternative information into Bangor High School,” as well as working with Food AND Medicine and PJC.
The evening will end with Arcady Music Festival emeritus artistic director Masanobu Ikemiya of Bar Harbor discussing how he and his wife, Tomoko, sustain themselves with organic gardening as did his late mentor, Helen Nearing, who addressed the first PJC Harvest Supper in 1989.
One highlight of his presentation, Ilze told me, is that Ikemiya “will be showing photographs of the garden and playing some piano to go along with the photos.”
Joan Saxe, Maine Partners for Cool Communities co-chair, also will be welcoming members and guests with a gift of a reusable bag of energy-saving information and ideas. The Green Sneakers Project — Walkin’ the Talk for Clean Energy, was created by MPCC to motivate local, personal actions that address the global challenge of deteriorating air quality and climate change. She will give a brief overview of the state and federal incentives available for homeowners who retrofit and weatherize their homes.
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; email@example.com; 990-8288.